Elmer and the Tune by David McKee

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Elmer and the Tune by David McKee

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
Reviewed by Linda Lawlor
Summary: Bright warm colours and a simple, amusing storyline make this another hit in the canon of Elmer tales.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: September 2017
Publisher: Andersen Press
External links: [Cwww.andersenpress.co.uk/authors/view/229 Author's website]
ISBN: 9781783445462

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Everybody loves a catchy tune, but sometimes you come across one that you just can't get out of your head, no matter how hard you try. And that's what has happened to Elmer and his friends – all over the jungle, folk are humming the same tune, over and over and over again, and passing it on to their friends and neighbours like a musical virus. Anyone who has heard about how the wheels on that wretched bus go round and round eleventy-seven gazillion times on a long car journey will know what we mean.

There is a simple and pretty effective way to stop this sort of earworm of course, and our favourite patchwork elephant knows it, but his friends aren't convinced at first that it will work. And that's not the end of the story: there's a comic twist at the end that will have both parents and little ones chuckling.

Elmer is a distinctive character, and that is his strength. The story goes that several decades ago his creator, David McKee, witnessed an unpleasant bit of racist bullying and so he created an animal who is vividly different from all his brothers and sisters and cousins to make the point that diversity can be a clear and positive force for good. A worthy aim, and clearly the message got through to Elmer's fellow creatures in the jungle as he's the first person they turn to when the sticky tune begins to get on their nerves. But morals and life lessons are not what attract younger readers (or many older ones, for that matter) and what really stands out in the Elmer books is an engaging story shown through characters who are cheerful, kindly and funny in their own right. Add to that an exuberance of colour and form, and the formula is faultless. You can spend ages just looking at the fantastical trees and plants, enjoying their vividness and their whimsy. A display of muted greens and blues dominates as Elmer chats with Crocodile by the lake, then turn the page and everything is the brightest gold, while elsewhere Lion clambers across rocks of intense scarlets and oranges – feasts for the eyes.

There are, happily, lots of lovely books about Elmer's adventures, and as it is self-evident that every child should have a rainbow-coloured elephant in their life, there's really no excuse. Among Bookbag's favourites are Elmer on Stilts, Elmer's Special Day, Elmer and the Hippos and lastly, one titled simply Elmer. But each family will have their own favourites. And if the whole idea of jungles has your little one intrigued, try The Big Jungle Mix Up by Gareth Edwards and Kanako Usui which is extra special as it has flaps, and That's Mine! by Michel Van Zeveren about a mysterious egg.

Buy Elmer and the Tune by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Elmer and the Tune by David McKee at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Elmer and the Tune by David McKee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Elmer and the Tune by David McKee at Amazon.com.


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